Under investigation: Beachgoers trash Kice Island, volunteers collect piles of garbage
Two state agencies are coordinating efforts to investigate who is responsible for leaving piles of trash on Kice Island, a spokesperson with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection said.
The DEP investigation, which remains "active and ongoing," is being done in coordination with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said Alexandra Kuchta, DEP deputy press secretary.
Colleen M. Gill, a local kayak tour guide, said she collected on Wednesday approximately 150 pounds of trash she found on Kice Island's Dickmans Point, south of Marco Island.
"I was just finishing up a kayak tour on (Oct. 12) Monday evening when I was sent the photo of the garbage piles," Gill said.
Two days later, the garbage was still there so Gill decided to pick up the trash herself. She grabbed trash bags, hopped into a kayak on Marco and paddled to the neighboring island.
Gill said she collected bottles, cans, plastic food containers, Styrofoam plates, dirty diapers, towels and toys for two hours.
"I couldn't actually bring my kayak back because it was so much garbage weighting it down to the point where it would have sunk," she said.
Gill said she called Capt. Marco Magdalener with Florida Adventures and Rentals so he could use his boat to transport the trash back to Marco.
"DEP commends Colleen Gill for taking action to protect Florida’s environment by removing this debris from the beach," Kuchta wrote in an email.
"Residents and visitors are expected and encouraged to practice 'Leave No Trace' guidelines while enjoying Florida’s environment to minimize their impact on natural resources," she wrote.
As the investigation runs its course Florida Adventures and Rentals is organizing a cleanup of Kice Island starting at 9 a.m. Oct. 24.
Boats and kayaks will depart from Caxambas Pass Marina on Marco every 30 minutes until 12 noon, according to the company's website.
Volunteers are encouraged to make a free reservation or bring their own kayaks, and supplies will be provided by Marco’s Sunshine Ace Hardware. Registered volunteers will receive complimentary food at the Snook Inn.
"When you visit our beaches and islands, please leave nothing but your footprints," Gill said.
For more information, visit floridaadventuresandrentals.com/beach-clean-up.
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